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Game 62 Preview: Jackets Look to End Skid in Pittsburgh

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Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Columbus Blue Jackets at Pittsburgh Penguins

March 1, 2015 - 5:00 pm EST 
Consol Energy Center - Pittsburgh, PA
Radio - 102.5 FM  - TV - Fox Sports Ohio
Opponent's Blog: PensBurgh

The Jackets have lost five in a row, with their last victory coming on February 19th against these same Penguins. You may remember that game for the scrap between Brandon Dubinsky and Sidney Crosby, but there won't be a round 2 in that battle, as Dubinsky is out of the lineup with a concussion.

Dubinsky is joined by Jack Skille, Boone Jenner, Matt Calvert, Jeremy Morin, Ryan Murray and Kevin Connauton on the injured list.

Dating back to last year's playoff series, Crosby was locked down by Dubinsky. Tonight the Jackets will need another center to do the heavy lifting - I'm doubtful the Jackets will assign Alexander Wennberg the task of keeping the NHL's best player in-check.

Though this is a mismatch on paper, the Jackets have had Pittsburgh's number this year, beating them in both meetings this year. For the Jackets to break their current five-game losing streak, they'll need to shut down Pittsburgh's potent offense (including newcomer Daniel Winnik) and score some timely goals. This would be a perfect time for the powerplay to get going again.

Though he dressed last night, we won't be seeing Bobrovsky this afternoon (hopefully). It will be Curtis McElhinney opposite Marc-Andre Fleury between the pipes tonight.

Projected Lineups

Columbus Blue Jackets 
(26-31-4, 56 Points; 7th division, 13th conference)

Nick Foligno Ryan Johansen David Clarkson
Scott Hartnell Alexander Wennberg Cam Atkinson
Brian Gibbons Artem Anisimov Marko Dano
Corey Tropp Mark Letestu Jared Boll
Jack Johnson David Savard
Fedor Tyutin James Wisniewski
Dalton Prout Cody Goloubef
Curtis McElhinney
Sergei Bobrovsky

Pittsburgh Penguins
(35-17-9, 79 Points; 3rd Division, 6th Conference)

David Perron Sidney Crosby Patric Hornqvist
Chris Kunitz Evgeni Malkin Blake Comeau
Daniel Winnik Brandon Sutter Steve Downie
Nick Spaling Maxim Lapierre Beau Bennett
Paul Martin Kris Letang
Christian Ehrhoff Derrick Pouliot
Rob Scuderi Simon Despres
Marc-Andre Fleury
Thomas Greiss

Season Series

Pittsburgh - 0-1-1
CBJ - 2-0-0

12/13/14 - Columbus 4 vs. Pittsburgh 3 (SO)
02/19/15 - Columbus 2 at Pittsburgh 1
03/01/15 - Columbus at Pittsburgh
04/04/15 - Pittsburgh at Columbus

Head to Head Stats

Pittsburgh Columbus
2.84 (9) GPG 2.51 (24)
2.41 (4) GAPG 3.10 (26)
20.4% (7) PP% 20.2% (8)
85.6% (6) PK% 81.3% (16)
Evgeni Malkin, 24 G leader Nick Foligno, 23
Sidney Crosby, 42 A leader Nick Foligno / Ryan Johansen, 32
Sidney Crosby, 62 Pts leader Nick Foligno, 55
Steve Downie, 191 PIM leader Scott Hartnell, Jared Boll 84
16-7-6 Home/Road 14-14-2
6-3-1 Last 10 3-6-1
2/25 at Washington W 4-3 Last Game 2/28 vs. New Jersey L 2-0